Fresh Floral Finds on Howe Street
Flowers for any reason and every occasion!
STORY BY: LESLIE FOSTER
Whether you are buying a single rose, a bouquet of wildflowers or 10 arrangements for a special event, Wild By Nature is the place to head. As a self confessed flower-buying addict, my discovery of Wild By Nature was serendipitous! This small cheerful shop has buckets of seasonal flowers, creative displays of hanging vases, shelves of unique vessels and the exquisite aroma of a summer garden.
Robin Weir, the owner of WBN is usually on the premises and really knows her stuff! She can put together a bouquet on the spot, offer advise on creatively displaying flowers or introduce you to the ease of ” air plants” (love these!). She and her staff make your shopping experience a very pleasant one. WBN sources beautiful fresh flowers from around the world, throughout the year. Their website is loaded with photographs of every type of arrangement for any kind of occasion.
Next time you stroll down Howe Street, wander into this colorfully painted shop and let the beauty that is Wild By Nature wow you!
Q.When did Wild By Nature open its doors in SPT?
A. We opened our doors on October 10 2014.
Q. Robin, you are a creative and accomplished floral designer! What led you into this happy profession?
A. An accident I must admit. I was learning how to throw clay on a wheel and had several containers that weren’t quite right, too heavy on the bottom, a ripple on the lip so I started arranging silk and dried flowers in them. After giving them to friends and family. Other people started asking me if they could purchase them, so a career was born and a passion that took me all the way to becoming an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers, (there are only about 1,400 of us in the world). My passion for this industry still has me hooked on learning everything I can about flowers and design.
Q. I love the double entendre of the name of your business! How did you decide upon it?
A. I’ve always been a slightly crazy character and when I was younger you could say a little wild too but actually when I first started out I was calling myself “The Lone Arranger”. And the logo on my business card was an arrangement and a mask. See I told you I was crazy.
Q. There is something about walking into WBN that just makes you feel good…… To what do you attribute that?
A. Oh that’s the magic of nature in action. It could be a happy plant, a bucket of colorful silks, the wonderful smelling blooms or even the unusual textures of the natural containers that we have in the store, but it does make you feel good. I’m so lucky to be working with flowers everyday and to have Kelly Young and my sister Melody Ryan to help me out and keep me in line.
Q. Flowers Are a part of life’s most meaningful occasions. Will you provide our readers with a short list behind the meaning of specific flower choices?
A. You know there are probably as many different meanings for flowers as there are for ways to say hello. But the ones that I have come to know over the years and like are: bird of paradise; “joyfulness and anticipation” hydrangeas; “heartfelt emotions” orchids indicate “thoughtfulness” and tulips are ” perfect love”. I better have some tulips in stock this weekend don’t you think.
Q. You sell ” air plants”. Do tell!
A. Air plants are part of the bromeliad family and there are many different species that we carry. They happen to be my favorites kind of plant NO DIRT. These beauties grow high in the trees in tropical climates and attach themselves to the underside of the branches with what looks like roots. All their nutrients are absorbed through their leaves so all they need is sunlight and moisture to thrive. Here in the store we mist them with rainwater a couple times a week and of course we talk to them. We just can’t get them to answer us YET!
Q. You also sell unique vessels and vases for displaying flowers and plants…. Can you describe a vessel and an eye-catching display!
A. Sure, I am lucky enough to have some GREAT suppliers that provide me with unusual natural products like wooden bowls carved from one piece of wood, other popular containers that we showcase are vases of different styles and sizes that you can easily design in yourself. And we just got in a shipment of heads and faces that we have planted some fast growing succulents. We also put names in them such as “where is your head at?” ” If I only had a brain” and of course “air head”. My favorite is the faux succulents fashioned into a Mohawk called “no water, no brainier”.
Q. Where do you source your flowers?
A. One of the things that I found out very quickly was getting flowers here is not the same as getting flowers back in CT. I had 5 wholesalers in CT calling me daily asking me what they could deliver to me THAT DAY. Here the closest wholesaler that I deal with drives 6 hours from VA to deliver to me twice a week. Usually I pick up at the airport at least once a week from my favorite wholesalers out of NY and NJ. And for weddings I get shipments in from Holland. Having a good relationship with some of the best wholesalers in the country is key to having products that last and it keep my customers coming back.
Q. Wild By Nature offers floral classes… How can we sign up?
A. If you come into the store we have a email address book which will get you on our mailing list. We usually send out our class listing once a month. We take a break during the summer months but will be starting back up in September. Just give us a call and we will be glad to put your name on our list. But we would love to meet you. We also list them on our website, www.wildbynaturellc.com
Q. Ok. I just have to ask… What is your favorite flower??
A. That’s like asking who is your favorite child, lol, but between you and me I love pincushion protea (that’s the flowers on my business card) it’s unique and interesting and since it’s a tropical flower it lasts longer than most garden flowers. Oh but then there is cymbidium orchids, sweet pea, lily of the valley, and on and on….
Favorite Food? I love warm crusted bread with cold butter (unsalted) and boy does it show!
Favorite Book? In March I read ” The Rent Collector” it is one of the best books I have read in a long time!
Favorite place to travel? My all time vacation spot is Guavaberry Bay on Virgin Gorda, right next to the “Baths”.
Favorite music? I’m a sucker for old time rock and roll. I love to dance!
Favorite thing about Southport? Everything!! But especially the people.